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First A350-1000 becomes airborne for its maiden flight

Air India will buy Airbus A350 aircraft for international operations, with the plane arriving in March 2023-24.
  • Flight test campaign benefitting from the A350-900 experience and maturity;
  • Three test aircraft to perform all flight testing in under one year;
  • Development on track for entry into service scheduled for the second half of 2017.

The first of three A350-1000 development aircraft to fly – MSN059 – has landed at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport France at 15.00hrs local time after successfully completing its first flight which lasted four hours and 18 minutes.

The crew in the cockpit on board this flight comprised: Hugues Van Der Stichel, Experimental Test Pilot; Frank Chapman, Experimental Test Pilot and Gerard Maisonneuve, Test-Flight Engineer. Furthermore, monitoring all the test parameters at the Flight-Test-Instrumentation (FTI) station behind the cockpit were: Patrick du Ché, Head of Flight & Integration Tests; Emanuele Costanzo, Head of A350 Development Flight Tests; and Stéphane Vaux, Flight-Test Engineer.

Powered by Rolls-Royce’s new Trent XWB-97 engines, the aircraft traversed south-western France, during which the crew explored the aircraft’s handling and flight envelope. The aircraft was accompanied by a chase plane to observe and film the various manoeuvres. Its progress was monitored by experts on the ground in real-time via a direct telemetry link.

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Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Brégier said: “We have seen today the world’s most modern and efficient passenger aircraft – the A350-1000 – in action for the very first time, adding soon to the successful A350 Family. My congratulations and thanks go to all the teams who have contributed to make today’s flight happen.” He added: “We are equally pleased that many customers have witnessed this important milestone today together with us – here from our headquarters in Toulouse.”

Benefitting from the experience of the original A350-900 test campaign (accomplished in 2014), the A350-1000’s development programme will be shorter – under one year for the three aircraft. MSN059’s duties for performance testing will include exploration of the flight envelope, handling qualities, loads and braking. The second aircraft to fly, MSN071, will also be tasked with performance evaluation, which will encompass braking, powerplant, systems and autopilot. The third and final aircraft to fly – MSN065 – will be equipped with a cabin and will evaluate the cabin and air systems. MSN065 will also perform the “early long flights” and route-proving. The overall campaign will culminate in the type’s certification followed by its entry into airline service in the second half of 2017 with first operator Qatar Airways – the largest A350-1000 customer to date with 37 on order.

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The A350-1000 is the latest member of the Airbus leading widebody family, together with the A330neo, offering unprecedented levels of operating efficiency, low noise and true long-range capability. As well as having a longer fuselage to accommodate 40 more passengers than the A350-900, the A350-1000 also features a modified wing trailing-edge, new six-wheel main landing gears and more powerful Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines. The A350-1000 embodies all of the fuel efficiency and ‘Airspace’ cabin comfort of the original A350-900 – but with extra size perfectly tailored for our customers on some of their busiest long-haul routes. To date 11 customers from five continents have placed orders for a total of 195 A350-1000s.

 

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He is an aviation journalist and the founder of Jetline Marvel. Dawal gained a comprehensive understanding of the commercial aviation industry.  He has worked in a range of roles for more than 9 years in the aviation and aerospace industry. He has written more than 1700 articles in the aerospace industry. When he was 19 years old, he received a national award for his general innovations and holds the patent. He completed two postgraduate degrees simultaneously, one in Aerospace and the other in Management. Additionally, he authored nearly six textbooks on aviation and aerospace tailored for students in various educational institutions. jetlinem4(at)gmail.com

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Asia

Singapore Airlines emergency landing after severe turbulence

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 Aircraft lands at Singapore Changi Airport (Incident aircraft not pictured)

One passenger passed on, while dozens of passengers were injured when a Singapore Airlines Boeing B777-300ER aircraft experienced severe turbulence while en route to Singapore from London Heathrow Airport. The aircraft diverted to Bangkok, and landed at 3:45pm Local time on 21 May 2024 

The flight landed with 211 Passengers and 11 Crew members at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. According to the Airport Director Kittipong Kittikachorn at a news conference, there were 7 passengers who suffered serious injuries, while a number of other passengers suffered injuries of varying seriousness.

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It was also confirmed that the passenger who passed on was a 73 year old British Man. In a statement from Singapore Airlines ‘ As of 0505 hours Singapore Time on 22 May 2024, 79 passengers and 6 crew members from SQ321 remain in Bangkok’. In another statement, it was reported that a relief flight with 143 passengers and crew members arrived in Singapore at 0505 hours Singapore time on 22 May 2024.

According to aircraft tracking site FlightRadar24, the 16 Year Old Boeing B777-300ER aircraft descended sharply from 37,000 feet to 31,000 feet in a short time. It was also further reported by FlightRadar24 that the descent was commanded by Autopilot, instead of being caused by turbulence.

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Shortly afterwards, the pilot declared an emergency by squeaking 7700 on the transponder, indicating an emergency situation onboard the aircraft. The Boeing 777 aircraft then diverted to Bangkok, instead of continuing on its planned journey to Singapore. 

In view of this incident, Singapore Airlines mentioned in a statement that they are working with the relevant authorities on the investigation into this incident.

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The National Transportation Safety Board, a US Government investigative agency for civil aviation incidents, is sending an accredited representative and 4 technical advisors to support the investigation by Singapore’s Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB). TSIB mentioned in a statement that it ‘is in touch with its Thai counterparts and will be deploying investigators to Bangkok’. 

Boeing, the manufacturer of the Boeing B777 aircraft mentioned in a statement that they are in contact with Singapore Airlines regarding the ill-fated flight, and ‘stand ready to support them’. 

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This situation is developing, more details will be added when they become available. 

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Airlines

US DOT says Airlines must now pay automatic refunds for cancelled flights

US DOT says Airlines must now pay automatic refunds for cancelled flights

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has released a final regulation requiring airlines to quickly reimburse passengers with automatic cash refunds when owed, according to a statement made by the Biden-Harris Administration.

Under the new regulation, passengers will find it easier to get refunds when airlines dramatically alter or cancel flights, cause severe delays for checked baggage, or don’t supply the additional services they paid for.

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According to a statement from the Biden-Harris Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has published a final rule mandating airlines to promptly compensate customers with automatic cash refunds when they are eligible. The new rule would make it simpler for customers to receive refunds from airlines in cases when they drastically change or cancel flights, cause significant delays for checked luggage, or fail to provide the extra services they charged for.

Under the latest rule from the USDOT, passengers are guaranteed refunds in several scenarios:

  1. Canceled or Significantly Changed Flights: Passengers are entitled to refunds if their flight is canceled or significantly altered, including changes in departure or arrival times exceeding 3 hours domestically or 6 hours internationally, departures or arrivals from different airports, increased connections, downgrades in service class, or changes less accommodating to passengers with disabilities.
  2. Delayed Baggage Return: Passengers filing mishandled baggage reports can claim a refund for checked bag fees if their luggage is not returned within specific timeframes after flight arrival.
  3. Unprovided Extra Services: If airlines fail to deliver paid extra services like Wi-Fi, seat selection, or inflight entertainment, passengers can request refunds for those fees.

The final rule streamlines the refund process, ensuring it is:

  • Automatic: Refunds are issued automatically without requiring passengers to request them.
  • Prompt: Airlines must refund credit card purchases within seven business days and other payment methods within 20 calendar days.
  • In Original Form of Payment: Refunds are provided in the original payment method used for purchase.
  • Full Amount: Passengers receive full refunds minus the value of any portion of transportation already used, including government and airline fees.

Suggest banning family seating junk fees and ensuring that parents can travel with their kids at no additional cost. No airline promised to ensure fee-free family seating prior to efforts from President Biden and Secretary Buttigieg last year. Family seating is now guaranteed free of charge on four airlines, and the Department is working on a plan to eliminate family seating junk fees.

Propose to make passenger compensation and amenities mandatory so that travelers are taken care of when airlines cause flight delays or cancellations. 

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Middle East

British Airways Resumes Daily Flights to Abu Dhabi, After 4-Year hiatus

British Airways Resumes Daily Flights to Abu Dhabi, After 4-Year hiatus
Photo: Wikipedia

British Airways made its way back to Abu Dhabi, landing at Zayed International Airport. Following a four-year break in service, both crew and passengers were greeted with enthusiasm.

In the summer of 2024, British Airways plans to launch a daily route, utilising a Boeing 787-9, from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi. The new route enhances ties between the UAE and the UK and expands  vast worldwide network, catering to passengers who may be visiting friends and family or travelling for business.

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Arriving in Abu Dhabi at 08.30+1, flight BA073 to Abu Dhabi leaves London Heathrow at 22.25. Departing at 10.10 and landing at London Heathrow at 15.20 is the inbound flight (BA072).

The chief executive officer and managing director of Abu Dhabi Airports, Elena Sorlini, stated: “We are delighted to welcome British Airways to Zayed International Airport. Their daily schedule is expected to improve connectivity and stimulate travel and business.” Visitors may experience the dynamic capital of the United Arab Emirates like never before at our brand-new, award-winning, state-of-the-art terminal, where they will be welcomed with the best kind of Emirati hospitality.”

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Flight schedule:

London Heathrow (LHR) to Zayed International (AUH)All times are local
 
SeasonFlight numberDeparting LHRArriving AUHFlight numberDeparting AUHArriving LHR
Summer ‘24BA7322:2508:30+1BA7210:1015:20
Winter ‘24BA7322:2509:30+1BA7211:1015:20

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